The new director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that her agency would likely come out with guidance in the fall that Americans should get an annual COVID-19 booster shot.
“We’re just on the precipice of that, so I don’t want to get ahead of where our scientists are here and doing that evaluation work, but yes we anticipate that COVID will become similar to flu shots, where it is going to be you get your annual flu shot, and you get your annual COVID shot,” Dr. Mandy Cohen told Spectrum News.
“We’re not quite there yet, but stay tuned,” she added. “I think within the next couple of weeks, month we’re going to hear more from our experts on COVID shots.”
Spectrum News said that the agency is finalizing the recommendation and is expected to announce it in early September.
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Cohen also addressed public trust in the agency since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said that “folks have been very clear that the CDC did lose trust” when asked if the CDC could have taken different action.
“There were some early places where the CDC didn’t perform and execute in the way they needed to,” Cohen said, noting that she is worried about vaccine distrust.
“I’m very worried about parents not vaccinating kids,” she said. “I got my kids vaccinated from the circulating viruses. There’s plenty of other things that are hard as parents that we can’t do. This is one we can do to protect our kids.”
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Going forward, the leader said she plans to focus on transparency and building relations with politicians, health officials and the public.
“Just like we have a military to protect us here and around the world, we need a CDC that can protect us,” Cohen said.
“We can’t see those cuts and have the national security assets we need here at the CDC,” she added.
House Republicans are aiming to make significant cuts to the agency’s funding.
Cohen wants the CDC to be considered a “trusted partner” looking out for families and communities.
Cohen formerly served as North Carolina’s Health Secretary and Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services during the Obama administration.
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GOP lawmakers wrote a letter in June urging President Biden to withdraw his appointee.
“Dr. Cohen is unfit for the position,” the lawmakers asserted. “Throughout her career, Dr. Cohen has politicized science, disregarded civil liberties, and spread misinformation about the efficacy and necessity of COVID vaccinations and the necessity of masks during her time as the Secretary of the North Carolina Health and Human Services.”
Fox News’ Greg Wehner, Hanna Panreck and Houston Keene contributed to this report.